A nature inspired decentralised multi-agent algorithm is proposed to solve a problem of distributed task allocation in which cities produce and store batches of different mail types. Agents must collect and process the mail batches, without global knowledge of their environment or communication between agents. The problem is constrained so that agents are penalised for switching mail types. When an agent process a mail batch of different type to the previous one, it must undergo a change-over, with repeated change-overs rendering the agent inactive. The efficiency (average amount of mail retrieved), and the flexibility (ability of the agents to react to changes in the environment) are investigated both in static and dynamic environments and with respect to sudden changes. New rules for mail selection and specialisation are proposed and are shown to exhibit improved efficiency and flexibility compared to existing ones. We employ a evolutionary algorithm which allows the various rules to evolve and compete. Apart from obtaining optimised parameters for the various rules for any environment, we also observe extinction and speciation.
|Title of host publication||Software engineering, artificial intelligence, networking and parallel/distributed computing 2010|
|Subtitle of host publication||SNPD2010|
|Place of Publication||Berlin Heidelberg|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Name||Studies in computational Intelligence|
Goldingay, H., & van Mourik, J. (2010). Evolution of competing strategies in a threshold model for task allocation. In R. Lee (Ed.), Software engineering, artificial intelligence, networking and parallel/distributed computing 2010: SNPD2010 (pp. 85-98). (Studies in computational Intelligence; Vol. 295). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13265-0_7